and see the fields where Rick had played
soccer. They even took in an NHL hockey
game. “We did everything,” Fedori says.
“It was beautiful.”
Before Rick died, Fedori organized
a celebration of life for him at a local
community hall in March of 2015. “My
sons and daughters-in-law, Kelsey and
Annie, along with 50 gracious and
generous people, solemnly added their
voices to honour this ordinary guy’s
remarkable life and death,” she says.
Dr. Steven Aung, Rick’s doctor and a
professor in the University of Alberta’s
Faculty of Medicine, performed a special
Buddhist blessing to help guide Rick on
the next phase of his journey.
With his family by his side, Rick
passed away in a Calgary hospice later
that month. Fedori thought she was
prepared for the moment. “But the
shock of death after years of caregiving
was nothing compared to the extreme
loneliness. People disappeared. A great
silence began,” she says. She is now
writing a book about her experiences.
“We were married for 34 years. It was
easy to talk about nothing. It was great to
come home and hear somebody’s breath
in the house.” |a
PREPARING FOR END-OF-LIFE CARE:
THE GREEN SLEEVE PROGRAM
Dr. James Silvius, provincial medical
director for Seniors Health and the
senior medical director for the Seniors
Health Strategic Clinical Network,
describes the Green Sleeve program as
the key preparation for end-of-life care.
“It’s a recognition of the wishes and
desires of an individual in terms of the
healthcare they will receive,” he says.
A Green Sleeve is a plastic folder that
holds your advance care planning
forms. Think of it as a medical passport.
It holds important legal forms that go
with you through the healthcare system.
Anyone 18 or older benefits from
creating a personal directive.
In an emergency, Alberta Health
Services care providers can look at the
forms in your Green Sleeve and quickly
know your healthcare wishes. These
forms list important healthcare decisions
and name an agent, the person you
trust to carry out your wishes in the
event you no longer have that capacity.
A goals of care designation is a medical
order written by your doctor or nurse
practitioner that guides healthcare
providers about the care you want at
the end of life.
Filling out this paperwork clarifies and
communicates what you see as leading
to a good death. These decisions are
not carved in stone. It’s important to
approach this process thoughtfully, but
you can always change your mind and
create a new Green Sleeve to better
reflect your values, evolving health or
even new options for treatment that
become available over time.
Your Green Sleeve belongs to you, and
it should only have the most up-to-date
forms inside. Keep it on or close to your
fridge so first responders know where
to look in an emergency. You can get a
Green Sleeve from your family doctor or
any Alberta Health Services provider.
For more information, go to myhealth.
alberta.ca and search advance care
planning green sleeve.
easy to talk
Rick Buck, left, visits with a friend at the Agape Hospice in Calgary.
Photographed by George Webber